Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Hidden passions. Greed. Deceit. Murder? Enter the possible dark side of Jane Austen’s life in Lindsay Ashford’s page-turner, The Mysterious Death of Miss Jane Austen.

Miss Anne Sharpe, governess to Fanny, daughter of Jane Austen’s brother, Edward, narrates a chilling story of appearances and how deceptive they can be. Henry Austen visits his brother Edward’s family much too often, and mostly when Edward is away. Edward’s wife, Elizabeth, spends a great deal of time with Henry. Is there something here in addition to brotherly affection?

Miss Sharpe discovers more and more of these curious incidents, and all involving Henry. Henry visits his brother, James, and James’s wife, Maria, too. Henry and Maria? And then people die under similar suspicious circumstances. First, Elizabeth, then James, and finally, sadly, Jane herself. Is Maria involved? Perhaps this is all circumstantial evidence. Maybe, or maybe not.

Weaving imagination into the known facts of Jane Austen’s life and tragically early death, Ms. Ashford spins an enthralling, dark tale of lust, deception and possible multiple murder seething beneath the surface of a seemingly proper, tranquil Regency family. Meticulously researched, the book delves deep into Jane’s life, finding connections no one else has. The result is a masterful story of the ease with which perception can be manipulated, and by the end of the book, you wonder if the author’s shocking tale can possibly be correct.

For a startling version of Jane Austen’s world that you’ve never encountered before, try The Mysterious Death of Miss Jane Austen.

Thank you all,
ARC provided by Sourcebooks

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